Board game seeks to save the world

The Sunday Guardian - - The Week -

ROME: A cult Ger­man board game whose fans in­clude Hol­ly­wood ac­tors Mila Ku­nis and Woody Har­rel­son may not seem the most ob­vi­ous ve­hi­cle for rais­ing aware­ness about the im­por­tance of pre­serv­ing crop di­ver­sity.

But that is what the mak­ers of “Catan” are seek­ing to do with a new ver­sion of the game in which play­ers com­pete to set­tle an imag­i­nary un­charted is­land, gain­ing points for build­ing set­tle­ments, ac­cu­mu­lat­ing and trad­ing re­sources.

“Catan—Crop Trust”, which launches on Thurs­day, re­quires play­ers to bal­ance the goal of farm­ing and har­vest­ing crops with the col­lec­tive aim of pre­serv­ing di­ver­sity by sav­ing some of their seeds in a vault. “The unique thing is that you can’t win with only pur­su­ing your own in­ter­est,” said Marie Haga, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Crop Trust.

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